Nixle, the social-networking platform designed for law enforcement, has re-launched its messaging service, stripping away fees for agencies that use its core service.
The Nixle Connect SMS text-messaging service, which is becoming increasingly popular with public safety agencies, is now being offered at no charge to agencies. Earlier this month, Nixle rolled out its Dial and InterConnect "add-ons" that expand its capabilities when the mission is on the line.
Nixle Dial allows agencies to reach targeted members of the community with robo-call voice messages via a prerecorded message. Nixle InterConnect allows agencies to quickly create call groups and send targeted messages to certain field officers or command staff members.
POLICE Magazine featured this technology, which was used during the G-20 protests in 2009 to manage potential rioters, with the Technology blog "Pittsburgh PD Uses Text Messaging During G-20 Protest."
The InterConnect service allows police to quickly respond during dynamic crowd events to keep them from becoming riots. Criminals and troublemakers have effectively used social media to plan "flash" mob attacks in U.S. cities. Rioters in London used social media to identify police locations and targets of opportunity.
"The key here is speed of communication," Nixle's Eric Liu, the chief executive officer, tells POLICE. "They have it on their side, and what we're doing is bringing it to the police side."
The Nixle Connect service has been improved with two-factor authentication security — this prevents the hacking that has occurred with Facebook, Twitter or other social networks — and allows agencies to create keywords to group related messages into single feeds. The keyword filters allow citizens to receive specific information about parades, events or other topics.